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Maman Brigitte

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Maman Brigitte
Maman Brigitte

Maman Brigitte, also known as Gran Brigitte, is the wife of Baron Samedi and a lwa of death and the cemetery. She the mother of the Ghede nation.

Within the African Traditional Religion of Voodoo, Vudu, Vodoun, or Vodun, Maman Brigitte is the powerful cemetery lwa and is given offerings of pepper-infused rum. She protects tombstones and graves and indeed in her work is done on the first woman buried in the cemetery who is identified as Maman Brigitte. In Haiti the first female grave in the cemetery is marked with a stone cross and belongs to Maman Brigitte.

Like her husband Baron Samedi, Maman Brigitte rules the cemetery and the dead. She is called upon in matters involving healing and to punish the wicked. She is the ultimate judge and can be called upon to inflict punitive retribution on those who harm her devotees. When people are suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses, she can either ease their suffering or intervene on their behalf to heal them. Some devotees also call upon her to heal sexually-transmitted diseases. Her colors are black and purple and she takes offerings of black roosters, candles, and rum infused with hot peppers.

In Catholic syncretic Voodoo practices, Maman Brigitte is sometimes associated with Saint Brigid and is venerated on All Soul's Day, November 2nd, a date that corresponds with the Pagan and Neo-Pagan festival of Samhain, which also commemorates the dead. Maman Brigitte is unusual among the lwa in that she is occassionally depicted as fair-skinned and with light hair, suggesting the European roots of her name. In other syncretic practices Maman Brigitte is depicted as Mary Magdalene.

Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who are adherents of the Voodoo Religion and who petition the lwa on behalf of clients may work with Maman Brigitte for matters pertaining to healing and justice.

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